Talking about haunted places in Britain is a doddle... it’d probably be easier to tell you places that aren’t haunted or have some kind of horrific supernatural story behind it. We’re tripping over ghosts and castles everywhere! But these five places are so horrifically haunted that they deserve a special place in the heart of every Halloween-loving goth kid.
Hampton Court Palace
This place has hella ghosts. Like, so many that we could probably do a post just on Hampton Court… but we have a word count to keep to (and other haunted spots to visit), so we’ll touch base with just some of their more famous spooks.
The ghosts of Catherine Howard AND Jane Seymour (wives of historical gobshite King Henry VIII) are supposedly busy getting their spook on here.
It is said that Catherine haunts the (rather aptly named) haunted gallery. Catherine supposedly ran down the gallery to beg Henry for mercy; her attempt failed, and Henry had her head cut off in 1541. Now Catherine is stuck in some kind of horrifying historic limbo, forever trapped wailing in that corridor.
Henry’s third wife, Jane, also supposedly haunts Hampton Court and can be seen walking through the palace courtyards, carrying a lantern. She died at the palace in 1537 giving birth to King Henry VIII’s only male heir, Edward. TBH, considering what a shit nozzle Henry was, she got off lightly.
Hampton Court’s most famous ghost, though, is SKELETOR (not the He-Man baddie, sadly). CCTV caught this spook in 2003 after security staff noticed that the fire doors near the Clock Court kept being violently flung open and closed again. CCTV caught the image of the ghost in a fancy robe!
One half of F Yeah History even had her own ghostly encounter while working there. While she was in one of the shops, "Greensleeves" started playing on the shop's iPod speaker system (nightmarish enough), but the song wouldn’t stop playing, looping itself on an endless repeat. The brave lass unplugged the iPod AND IT STILL KEPT PLAYING "GREENSLEEVES"!
Note: The other half of F Yeah History is a ghost non-believer and would like to point out that she reckons the speakers were just broken… but screw that, we’re going with GHOSTS!
Now, this super ancient graveyard, literally named "City of The Dead," opened in 1833. The place is seriously crowded, housing over 50,000 souls, so you’re bound to see some weird shit happen round there. Sightings of ghosts have been spotted since its conception, and locals advise that if you’re going there alone at night, you should be respectful and polite unless you want a ghost boot up the arse.
One of the stranger rumors was that a vampire lurked round this graveyard back in the 1950s. There were several sightings of a tall, sinister-looking man in a huge cape who disappeared into thin air if confronted, and the vampire was blamed for the disappearance of two local children. Local kids armed themselves with knives and homemade stakes and patrolled for two nights back in September 1954. Local policeman Alex Deeprose was called down to make the kiddies disperse. He was shocked at the sheer number of them, and it took weeks for the patrols to stop.
One of our faves is Bolsover, and it’s chock full of supernatural shenanigans. This site has had reports of spooky sightings, people being pushed about by unseen forces, and objects moving around between locked doors!
Bolsover was built on an ancient burial ground (recipe for supernatural disaster) and has been around since the 11th century, so there’s a bumload of history there and room for plenty of ghosts. One of the more well-known ghosts is that of a little boy who holds the hand of female visitors when they explore the garden.
They’ve had staff check out after experiencing spooks firsthand. Night shift security guards have handed in their notice after seeing lights and hearing voices when checking the site on their own. Once during some routine maintenance work, four builders watched a period clothing-clad lady walk through a wall near where they were working. Two of them decided "fuck this"’ and didn’t come back.
Note: The other half of F Yeah History would like to note that Bolsover is so supposedly haunted that its staff has had to start a ghost sightings book just to keep up with all the creepy shenanigans (apparently, despite not believing in ghosts, the other half of F Yeah History is a know it all…).
Woodchester Mansion is just a shell of what would have been an impressive gothic mansion, but it’s a strange story because the building was suddenly abandoned in the 1870s and no one ever finished off the work, so it has stood there for over a hundred years.
There were rumors that one of the workers was murdered onsite, and his ghost haunted remaining builders there, who downed tools and promptly fucked off… the likelihood is that the money for the building just ran out. From there, it’s history reads like a series of American Horror Story!
During WWII, the grounds of the house were used for D-Day training, and one day a fatal accident took place when a bridge over the lake collapsed and soldiers performing a drill drowned. Their bodies were taken back to the house and their ghosts still haunt the ruins. Visitors claim to have seen men in uniform wandering through the house.
The house itself is said to house a bunch of seriously nasty ghosties. Before it was turned into a gothic shell, it was the site of a few other fancy houses, so the site has collected all the ghosts from previous incarnations.
There’s a ghost monk in the chapel, a mean old lady ghost who grabs at people in the dark, and the ghost of a small girl who likes to trip people up (so all nice people). It’s been featured in loads of ghost hunter TV shows like Most Haunted and Ghost Hunters International, so if you want to get in on the action, book yourself in for a ghost hunt there. They do them all the fecking time!
Bending Heart Yard
This one is proper creepy. Legend has it that Lady Elizabeth Hatton, a beautiful Tudor socialite, was brutally murdered in the yard. She was found torn limb from limb and her still-beating heart was left in the road found by a (probably) really fecking traumatized passerby.
People have reported hearing a loud beating sound like, y’know...a heartbeat, when in the yard, while others have seen a mournful-looking woman said to be the ghost of Elizabeth looking for her still-beating heart. Depending on the legend, she was either murdered by her lover, a penniless dancer, who was jealous of her attention from rich fancy men, or it was the devil himself who killed her. Not much difference between those two really.
Now it houses a super fancy bistro (their Eggs Royale is the tits), but F Yeah used to work near there and neither of them would walk down the yard at night. It is creepy as fuck.
We hope you enjoyed the countdown! If you fancy visiting for yourself, these ghost tours go on year round.
This post was originally published on F Yeah History and is reprinted here with permission.
Top photo: Hampton Court Palace
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Written by Natasha Tidd and Sara Westrop, F Yeah History is dedicated to unearthing history that's just too good for history class. From historic hangover cures to unsung historic heroes, all told with a healthy does of gifs and somewhat terrible jokes, it's history...just not as you know it. Follow F Yeah History on FYeahHistory.com and on Twitter @F_yeah_history.
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